Keynote Speakers

Emily Achieng’ Akuno

Emily Achieng’ Akuno is a Professor of Music at the Technical University of Kenya. She holds a Doctor of Philosophy degree from Kingston University, Surrey, UK, a Master of Music of the Northwestern State University, Louisiana, USA and Bachelor of Education (Arts) of Kenyatta University, Kenya. Prof. Achieng’ Akuno has over 30 years University level Teaching, Research and Administration experience. She has served in various senior and middle level management capacities in Kenya and abroad, including Kenyatta University, Maseno University and the Technical University of Kenya and the University of KwaZulu-Natal in Durban, South Africa. Trained as a performer-educator, Emily is actively involved in the music and music education scene in Kenya and internationally. An astute researcher currently working on a music for literacy development project, she is widely published and read with over 40 academic works in refereed journals, books and conference proceedings. Her academic engagements and contributions include the development over the years, many music curricula for Universities and middle level colleges across nations, presentations at and facilitation of local and international conferences seminars and workshops in music and arts education and practice.  As a professional, she is a member of the International Society for Music Education (ISME), where she has served as a board Member, Interim Secretary General and as member and Chair of the organisation’s Music in the School and Teacher Education Commission (MISTEC). She is also Treasurer of the International Music Council, the Paris-based UNESCO-affiliated NGO umbrella organisation of worldwide music organisations and bodies. Further, she serves in the Steering Committee of the International Network for Research in Arts Education, INRAE.

Avril Joffe

Avril Joffe is the Post Graduate Coordinator (and former Head) of the Cultural Policy and Management Department at the Wits School of Arts, University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg.  She is an economic sociologist with experience in the field of cultural policy, culture and development and the cultural economy.  Avril works in the intersection of academia and practice in fields such as culture in urban life, culture and the cultural economy in realising a just and sustainable development, fairness in international cultural cooperation, decent work and the rights and status of artists and cultural professionals as well as teaching pedagogy for post graduate studies in the cultural economy. Avril is an active member of UNESCO’s Panel of Experts for Cultural Policy and Governance, the Global Creative Economy Council associated with the UK’s Creative Industries Policy and Evidence Centre, the International Cultural Relations Research Alliance as well as International CREATOUR, a creative tourism advisory body. She is on the external international advisory panel for IN SITU – Place-based innovation of cultural and creative industries in non-urban areas” coordinated by the Centre for Social Studies at the University of Coimbra, Portugal, funded by the European Commission under the Horizon Europe programme. She is a Guest Lecturer at numerous universities from Antwerp to Serbia. Recent public research related to inequality includes Informality and the cultural economy in the Global South published by the British Council, the Not a Toolkit for EUNIC’s Fair Collaboration project and Promoting Decent Work for the African Cultural and Creative Economy for the ILO.  For the purposes of this assignment Avril has completed many evaluations ranging from the British Council’s Creative Economy Programme in Nigeria (2013), the British Council’s Culture Shift Programme (Nigeria, Zimbabwe and South Africa) (2013), Pro Helvetia funding programme (Zimbabwe/ South Africa) (2018-2019), and the Interarts consortium’s Culture @Work Africa Programme in Sub Saharan Africa (2020-2021) to contributing with Nordicity to the British Council report on the Missing Pillar and a research study on how state parties envisage the Integration of Culture in Sustainable Development for UNESCO’s 2018 Global report.

Avril’s creative practice is dance and is a second-degree black belt Nia dance instructor and a Spanish dancer.

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Akosua Obuo Addo

Associate Professor Akosua Obuo Addo teaches music education at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, MN. Previously, she was an assistant professor of music education at the University of Connecticut, Visiting a Post-doctoral Research Fellow at Roehampton Institute, London, and administrator for the Centre for Intercultural Music Arts, City University in London. Fulbright U.S. Scholar (2019-2020) Addo serves as the research chair for the Minnesota Society for Music Teacher Education. In addition to book chapters, Addo’s research in teacher education and ethnographies of children’s singing games has been presented at conferences and published in professional and research journals.

Isaac Richard Amuah

Professor Isaac Richard Amuah is a professor of Music Education at the Department of Music and Dance, University of Cape Coast – Ghana.  He was the founding Chair of the theatre program at the University of Cape Coast and later introduced the study of Dance in the Department of Music at the University of Cape Coast.  He is a former Dean of the University’s Office for International Relations.  His areas of research and focus include many areas in Music Education, Philosophy of Music and Music Psychology.  Prof. Isaac Amuah has contributed immensely to the development and growth of Music Education in Ghana, having been among other things, a co-author to the most definitive book on the history of music education in Ghana.